A Bolex H16. This 16mm film camera was a popular camera used by amateur filmmakers.
A Bolex H16. This 16mm film camera was a popular camera used by amateur filmmakers.
Sony Mavica FD 5.
Sony Mavica FD 5.

Amateur film is the low-budget hobbyist art of film practised for passion and enjoyment and not for business purposes.


The international organization for amateur film makers is UNICA (Union International du Cinema Non Professionel); in the United States the American Motion Picture Society (AMPS), in Canada the Society of Canadian Cine Amateurs (SCCA), in the UK it is the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers. These organizations arrange annual festivals and conventions. There are several amateur film festivals held annually in the United States, Canada and Europe.

The Cinema Museum in London holds a large collection of amateur films whose details can be accessed on-line.[1]


Amateur films were usually shot on 16 mm film or on 8 mm film (either Double-8 or Super-8) until the advent of cheap video cameras or digital equipment. The advent of digital video and computer based editing programs greatly expanded the technical quality achievable by the amateur and low-budget filmmaker. Amateur video has become the choice for the low-budget filmmaker and has boomed into a very watched and even produced industry with the use of VHS and digital video camcorders.

Notable films

A number of amateur films have been added to the National Film Preservation Board's (NFPB) National Film Registry (NFR) including:

Further reading


  1. ^ Movies on home ground : explorations in amateur cinema. Craven, Ian. Newcastle. ISBN 9781443841696. OCLC 850163333.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Mining the Home Movie : Excavations in Histories and Memories. Ishizuka, Karen L., Zimmermann, Patricia Rodden. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2007. ISBN 9780520939684. OCLC 723943549.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ Nicholson, Heather Norris (2012). Amateur film : meaning and practice, 1927-1977. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719077739. OCLC 799144752.
  4. ^ Small-gauge storytelling : discovering the amateur fiction film. Shand, Ryan,, Craven, Ian. Edinburgh. 2013-05-31. ISBN 9780748656356. OCLC 903489120.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in French. (October 2020) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the French article. Machine translation like DeepL or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 5,218 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing French Wikipedia article at [[:fr:Cinéma et vidéo amateurs]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|fr|Cinéma et vidéo amateurs)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.